Models and Modelling: Science Teachers’ Perceived Practice and Rationales in Lower Secondary School in the Context of a Revised Competence-Oriented Curriculum

Sanne Schnell Nielsen, Jan Alexis Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


As part of curriculum reforms, models and modelling (MoMo) are playing an increasingly prominent role in science education. Through a questionnaire study, this paper investigates lower secondary school teachers’ (n = 246) perceived practices of, rationales behind, and possibilities for working with MoMo in the context of the revised science curriculum. Our findings suggest that: (1) teachers prioritize the subject-specific knowledge embedded in models over and above the modelling process and meta-knowledge; (2) teachers prioritize engaging students in MoMo activities for descriptive rather than predictive purposes; (3) the process of designing, evaluating and revising models based on students’ own inquiry only plays a minor role in teachers’ practice and; (4) a content-heavy curriculum and multiple-choice exam are counterproductive to teachers’ efforts to implement a more competence-oriented approach to MoMo. Our study also sheds light on, and discusses implications for, how to enhance teachers’ possibilities of teaching for modelling-competence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Educatio
Issue number4
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2021


  • learning, educational science and teaching

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